Why this review.
I decided I own enough board games to start posting reviews. I own Agricola, Catan, Carcassonne and many more games, but all those games already have tons of reviews. I'll start reviewing the less popular games I own on BGG.
What Do I Think About Alhambra: The Card Game
I had opened the box a few years ago, saw the pieces, and I wasn't impressed at all.
No scoring track board, Why?
The theme and mechanic of the original Alhambra is extremely strong in this card game.
I started playing this only recently and I was pleasantly surprised.
Game Board /
This game comes with a very nice two pieces sturdy game board for the "Market Yard". It’s very colorful, keeping with the theme extremely well, and serves its purpose properly.
Something missing that I noticed right away on our first game is a scoring track. Like Cardcassonne that came with a scoring track on it's main board, and Alhambra the Dice Game that also came with one built into the main board, they should of included a cardboard scoring track, or added one to the existing building yard, by widening them juts a little, and adding a scoring track on the side.
Shame on you for cutting a vital corner here!!!
Building Yard could have used a scoring track running on the lower side.
Game's Bits /
The game bits are;
Money cards in four different currencies with a value from 1 to 9.
Six different building type with different cost.
A scoring reference card and sheet, and the A & B scoring round cards.
They are all very well made; the art on the building cards is spectacular. It's the same art as the original Alhambra tiles, but twice the size, allowing you to appreciate never before seen details. The A&B scoring round marker cards are very nice, and much better than the original scoring round marker cards from the original game.
To keep with the theme of the original Alhambra, the money cards are the exact same as in the original game and it give you a sense of familiarity right away with them. I always loved the color and art on those different currencies; you even get a “feel” from the provenance of each currency.
Rule Book and Rules /
The rule books (6 of them, one in every language offered) are clear, direct and are amongst the best written rule books out there, classic Queens Games.
That's what makes me love Queen Games so much. It's one of the only publishers to make multi language games that accommodate different languages players playing the same game. Like all the others Queen Games, the boards and cards are always "language free or/and minimalistic" and with the rules provided in all the most popular European languages, it allow me to setup a games with French, Italian and English speaking players, and everyone understand the game clearly with all the rules provided in their native language.
Sorry, here is a little message for the game creators and publishers that might ever read this:
If only more creator/publishers could realize that there are many others like me out there, from a mix marriage that need language free games. I don’t care if your game is better and more fun, if everything relies on English text, I cannot buy your game.
Because of that, I bought many games from Queen Games already, and will buy many more in the years to come.
Please keep that in mind.
The three rule books I need for my gaming circle, English, Italian and French.
Game Mechanic /
I was surprised here, after going through the box and pieces a few years ago, I had made up my mind that this was a "poor man" or "travel edition" version of the Alhambra. When I finally played A:TCG this year, I was pleasantly surprised that it is much better than I originally thought.
It keeps the basic Alhambra game mechanic, but it's simplified, for one, they took away the tile placement part of the classic game. The pay precisely for a building, and take another action on your turn mechanic is still present.
The color selection and price range on the 6 building types is still present but reversed. Now the cheaper building tiles are the preferred selection over the most expansive tiles (reversing the preferred selection of the original Alhambra, where the cheaper tiles where almost impossible to place). It's now a much quicker game, about 30 minutes long, and that's nice.
Because of the striping of the more complex Alhambra game mechanics for a quicker more streamlined game, re-playability suffers a little.
The way you stock on currency in your hands and the randomness of the cards will make each game different, but with an overall "feel" of the game being very similar from one play to the next. It would definitely need some sort of Expansion to modify or add to the game play and vary the game more.
for everyone, but a lot more for the Alhambra fans.
This game is a valid alternative to playing the full Alhambra; it's not just a "Travel Edition" of Alhambra.
This Alhambra the Card Game is a full game on its own, and is seeing way more game play then it's sister; Alhambra The Dice Game or competitor Cardcassonne (and that surprised me).
Total SCORE: 5/6 as an Alhambra fan, if not, this would of gotten a 4/6.
Thanks for the review.
This game was originally published in 1992, many years before Alhambra existed (It was called Al Capone then). The wall and the tile placement aspects of Alhambra were added to this game to create Alhambra, not removed from Alhambra when they developed this game.
There are many old-timers (like myself) who prefer this game to Alhambra.